It's been a long couple of years with the fight against ATF 41P; but, as most people now know, the rule was finalized - and got published in the Federal Register this morning (1/15/2016).
ATF 41F will bring many new changes to how this industry works, but here are the main things to keep in mind:
The new rule will go into effect on July 13, 2016
All applications that have been either approved, or are in process on 7/13/2016 will be processed under the existing rules; so, we'll be pushing hard as we get close to that date to ensure everything gets to the NFA Branch before the change happens.
CLEO Certification will no longer be required
Once the new rule goes into effect, CLEO certification will no longer be required for anybody - including individual applications.
Most people prefer using a trust or corporation to register; but, for anybody registering as an individual it may make sense to wait to submit paperwork until AFTER 7/13/2016.
A new Form 5320.23 will be required for all responsible persons
When registering using a trust or corporation, a new Form 5320.23 will be required for EVERY RESPONSIBLE PERSON. This form will be sent to the NFA Branch as well as to your CLEO with each silencer purchase.
Note that this form will also require a recent passport photo - taken within the preceding 1 year.
As a side note, I suspect we'll still be talking about what a responsible person is 5 years from now...
We're already working to ensure this new paperwork will be as simple as possible for our customers.
Fingerprints will be required for Suppressors & other NFA purchases using trusts or corporations
This is definitely going to be the biggest problem for the industry & customers. As with individual applications, trusts & corporations will now require 2 physical fingerprint cards for every responsible person.
There will be a 2-year exemption after an approval
It's not 100% clear how this will work yet, but we're sitting down with the ATF to get more details next week.
The way we're reading the ATF 41F ruling appears to indicate that you won't need to provide fingerprint cards or a 5320.23 with photos - or even a copy of your trust, if you've had any approval within the preceding 2 year period and your trust hasn't changed.
It will be interesting to see if these applications get fast-tracked by the NFA Branch in some way...
If you register using a trust or corporation, you will NOT be required to notify the NFA Branch of changes after an approval
In the initial ATF 41P proposal, there was a requirement to notify the NFA Branch with a Form 5320.23 every time your responsible persons changed.
Fortunately, the requirement was removed - and there is specifically no requirement to notify the NFA Branch if you add or remove responsible persons after getting an approval.
We're still working to both understand the implications of this new rule change, as well as to lessen the impacts if possible. The next step is a sit down meeting with the ATF and the American Suppressor Association - so we'll see what new information comes from that.
We truly appreciate everybody who has stepped up and submitted comments on behalf of our industry, as well as those who have supported the American Suppressor Association in their fight to lessen the effects of this executive action.
The NFA community is growing, and I suspect politicians won't be able to ignore us much longer if we continue to band together.